‘In tears with his closing number. We hope this isn’t his last tour’: Readers share their Bruce Springsteen concert experiences

Some fans were not impressed with some of the services and sound levels at the gigs in Dublin while others say it was a night they’ll remember for the rest of their lives

US singer Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band have made a much anticipated return to Ireland, playing three sold-out shows in Dublin’s RDS Main Arena on Friday and Sunday and tonight Tuesday.

We asked readers to share their experiences, both the good and the bad, of the concerts so far. Here are a selection of their responses:

Cathal O’Shea, Co Offaly

I had not seen Bruce since Nowlan Park in 2013 (I was 13) and what a show it was on Friday night. From start to finish – it was the ultimate show. The mix of classics, covers, and newer releases kept the show fresh, and the whole bands performance was exceptional, as always. Having grown up listening to Bruce, thanks to the loyal fan that my mother is, I can certainly say that we both had one of the best nights in a real long time (though our moves were questionable for Mary’s Place). It was difficult not to shed a tear when the show closed on I’ll See You in My Dreams, which was such a nice moment that you could feel echoing through the whole crowd. For a man of 73 years, Bruce ain’t doing so bad!

Ed Sweeney, Dublin

I got tickets for all three gigs. They’ve been unreal so far. He didn’t change up the set list as much as he did in previous years when he did multiple nights at the same venue, but we did get five different songs on Sunday. The weather has been great, atmosphere electric and Bruce sounded great. The Boss is moving well too, commanding attention, and working the whole stage with three hours of relentless energy. The E-Street band are all in top form. The stage had three massive screens so people can see from far back. I’m just sad it is coming to an end, but I have fantastic memories.

Siobhán McC, Co Dublin

I’m 27 and I’ve listened to Bruce Springsteen my whole life. I even chose his album Born in the USA to listen to while getting an MRI as a kid. I was delighted when my boyfriend and I were able to get standing tickets for his show on May 5th. I was so looking forward to it but I was really let down by the sound quality, and it was the only feedback I could give anyone when they asked how the concert was.

Bryan Casey, Co Cork

We arrived in Dublin on Thursday afternoon after the most stressful car journey I’ve ever experienced. I queued for the pit with my wife and five-year-old daughter. Security were adamant they wouldn’t let my daughter in. After many emails and phone calls, I managed to secure seating tickets an hour before the gig. Great night in the end. I happened to be in The Long Hall pub when Bruce came in, and he did a video call with my daughter who went home Saturday. A gent. Last night’s gig was also incredible. I was in the pit for that one.

Mary, Co Dublin

I have been a diehard Bruce Springsteen fan for more than 40 years and been to many of his concerts in Ireland – the last one being Croke Park in 2016. I was at the RDS on Sunday with my husband and sister – it was just such an incredible concert. I found the sound much better than Croke Park. I don’t know where Brucie gets his energy, but it was just nonstop from the moment he arrived on stage – three hours of pure magic. My favourite part was the seven-song encore – when he sang only old favourites. The E Street Band’s instrumentals were wonderful. It was also amazing to see so many young people in the audience too – all generations from small children to seniors. Stand out moment for me was his introduction to the song Last Man Standing dedicated to his deceased friend and former band member from his teenage years – it was so poignant as he advised us all to live for the moment.

Rosemary Connolly, Newry, Co Down

Bruce Springsteen has provided the musical backdrop to my whole adult life. I first became aware of him as a student at Queen’s University Belfast as we listened to the album Darkness on the Edge of Town on a continuous loop. Then there was the glorious Slane concert in June 1985, a month before our wedding, and all the concerts in between as we now approach our 40th anniversary. Through everything, in the decades in between, Bruce and his music have been a consistent joy. And on Sunday night, as he has done so many times before, he enthralled us and uplifted our spirits like very few others could.

Paul Gavan, Co Limerick

Blue Skies, warm sunshine, and the best rock’n’roll band in the world – not a bad way to start the weekend. More than 38 years on from Slane, and he’s still winning and managing to deliver in a way that nobody else can or does. In my opinion, it comes down to authenticity and a set of working-class values that he keeps to this day. Every member of the band works their socks off from beginning to end, with Max Weinberg driving the beat with a passion that still astonishes. You can also see that every one of the E Street Band still really loves to do this. Above all the concert was enormous fun.

Martin Lacey, Co Dublin

I’m a lifetime Springsteen fan, attending his first ever Irish concert in Slane in 1985. I thought Sunday night’s concert was unfortunately not at same level as previous ones. It felt to me a bit like Bruce and the band were going through the (albeit well honed) motions. It all felt a bit rushed. The solo finale song of I’ll See You In My Dreams was very touching. Hopefully, this is not the last time I’ll see him and the band.

Eoghan Lynch

My wife and I were at Sunday’s gig – we have been going to see him since 1981 (Wembley Arena). I thought they were outstanding, as usual, and loved to hear the very early songs from Darkness on the Edge of Town and the Wild the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle. He had my wife in tears with his closing number and we really hope this isn’t his last tour.

Michael O’Keeffe

I have seen quite a few times but without doubt this was the best I have ever seen him. The energy he has at 73 would put a lot of people to shame. Him and his band put on an immense show that did not take a breath for at least 10 to 12 songs. I have been to see a lot of bands in my lifetime but nothing compares to a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band show.

Pauline Caulfield Gregg, Co Dublin

We went to the first gig on Friday, a real live in the moment inspiring and uplifting experience. Bruce and the E Street Band never disappoints. Passionate and reflective. I’m still buzzing and it’s Monday evening – better than therapy.

Paul Samme, England

Bruce was awesome. He always is. It was three hours of pure brilliance. However, I could not say the same for the crowd. There was constant talking all the way through the show. Why pay all that money and then not bother listening to the guy on the stage. I’ve come to see Bruce several times in Dublin, but this will be the last time. Dublin itself though is fantastic. I enjoy the city and people are always really friendly.

Shane Dineen

I found the sound very poor in the RDS. We were about 3/4 of the way back in standing. We couldn’t hear Bruce when he was speaking or singing a low ballad. The queues for food and drink were disgraceful.

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